Senate GOP Leaders Delay Vote On Health Care Bill

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Senate GOP leaders have abruptly delayed the vote on their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until after July 4th recess.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell informed GOP senators of the delay during their weekly luncheon Tuesday, as the GOP seemingly lacks sufficient support to pass the bill in its current form.

“We’re still working toward getting at least 50 people in a comfortable place,” McConnell told reporters. He also referred to the bill as “an ongoing discussion,” and said that several senators wanted more time.

Six Republican senators oppose the health care bill as it’s currently written. GOP defections increased after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that 22 million people would lose insurance coverage by 2026 under the proposal, a slight improvement over the House proposal.

“I have so many fundamental problems with the bill that have been confirmed by the CBO report that it’s difficult for me to see how any tinkering is going to satisfy my fundamental and deep concerns about the impact of the bill,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-M.E.) said.

It’s “a big, complicated subject,” and it’s “hard to pull together and hard to pass,” McConnell said, though he’s “optimistic we’re going to get to a result that’s better than the status quo.”

“The ultimate reason this vote failed is because the American people didn’t like it,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Governors from both parties are also weighing in because many of their states expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and the Republican plan would slash funding.

“It’s time for the Republican party and Democratic party to realize we are at a potential meltdown between the rich and middle class,” Ohio Governor John Kasich said.

The CBO projects 15 million people would be forced out of Medicaid by 2026, resulting in a savings of $321 billion.

Earlier, Democrats joined demonstrators on Capitol Hill protesting the Senate healthcare bill.

“This is a moral moment, this is not a political moment,” Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said.

“We’re here to implore our Republican colleagues to turn back from this bill, don’t take healthcare away from people who need it most to give a tax break to people who need it least,” Sen. Schumer said.

“If President Trump thought the House bill was mean, well this Senate bill is downright nasty,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.).

Tuesday afternoon, GOP senators arrived at the White House by bus.

“This will be a great if we get it done and if we don’t get it done it’s just gonna be something we don’t like and that’s okay and I understand that very well,” President Trump said.

According to the report, the hardest hit would be older middle income Americans. A 64 year old making roughly $60,000 a year would go from paying about $4,000 a year to $16,000 by 2016.

Five of the Republican holdouts don’t believe the bill goes far enough in repealing Obamacare, while Senators Heller and Collins think it goes too far in cutting Medicaid.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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